Four Yemeni working for Norwegian NGO detained in rebel-held part
Feb.23, Oslo: Four Yemenis working with the Norwegian Refugee Council have been detained in a rebel-held part of the country.
According to the NGO, the workers had distributed aid the insurgents allege is linked to Saudi Arabia.
In a statement, the NRC said authorities in the rebel-controlled Red Sea district of Hodeida detained three Yemeni staff and a contracted driver on Tuesday last week.
According to a statement carried by Yemen's pro-government sabanew.net news website, Local Affairs Minister Abdul Raqib Fattah had said earlier a dozen staff had been "abducted" from the aid group's offices in the Hali district of Hodeida last week.
Local sources told AFP the employees were accused of having accepted and distributed aid from a Saudi-led coalition, which has been battling the Huthis since March 2015.
The NRC said it did not take funding from Saudi Arabia in any of its operations but had been using recycled boxes to distribute hygiene kits in Yemen.
The group said when staff had opened the boxes to distribute the aid, the inside read "The campaign of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for emergency response," a reference to the Saudi king.
The boxes were dated January 2015 and had originally been used for food, according to the NRC.
Yemen's conflict pits a Saudi-led Arab coalition supportive of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi against Iran-backed Huthis, who currently control the port of Hodeida along with the capital Sanaa and large parts of northern Yemen.
The Oslo Times International News Network